Take Control of Inbound Transportation

  • by Anton Karnaukhov, Senior IT Manager, Pacific Coast Companies, Inc.
  • August 1, 2006
See how to configure your SAP R/3 or mySAP ERP Central Component system for inbound transportation. These eight configuration steps also help prepare you for future use of advanced transportation tools, such as Transportation Planning and Vehicle Scheduling.
Key Concept
A shipment document, generated in the transportation solution in R/3 or mySAP ERP Central Component (ECC), represents a combination of goods transported from a specific departure point to a specific destination point. It is the fundamental document for planning, monitoring, and carrying out physical transportation of goods in R/3 or ECC. The shipment document distinguishes between shipments going from the company to customers (outbound shipments) and the ones coming from vendors to the company (inbound shipments).
While the costs of transportation are reaching record highs, many companies are searching for ways to bring more visibility and control to their transportation processes. Some minimize freight costs and optimize transportation by using complex algorithms and automated tendering. Others centralize their dispatch operations for better visibility across the entire organization. Most try to ensure that they are managing transportation better than ever before.

SAP provides a number of tools to help companies manage their inbound transportation activity — from simple use of the transportation solution in R/3 or mySAP ERP Central Component (ECC) all the way through advanced transportation optimization in Transportation Planning and Vehicle Scheduling (TP/VS), part of the mySAP SCM suite.

You must maintain several key configuration settings in the IMG for R/3 or ECC for the system to generate shipment documents. Only then can any advanced transportation optimization tool, such as TP/VS, successfully trigger the generation of shipment documents in R/3 or ECC once the system finishes the optimization run.

The eight steps I present will guide you through all of the necessary configuration settings to start tracking inbound shipments within R/3. Not only does this bring more visibility to the inbound transportation process in your online transaction processing system, it also prepares you to implement a transportation optimization tool, such as TP/VS, because this configuration must be in place before you can use it.

Anton Karnaukhov

Anton Karnaukhov is a senior IT manager at Pacific Coast Companies, Inc., in Sacramento, California. He earned an MBA degree at Heriot-Watt University and a BS/BA degree with a specialization in computer information systems at Western Carolina University. Anton has more than eight years of SAP implementation and development experience focusing on business intelligence and logistics modules in the manufacturing and resale industries.

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